Seven tips to win the competition for attention

06 January 2017

Anyone in marketing knows how tough it is to get noticed. Competition is fierce. The consumer is saturated with products, brands, and businesses that take up media space and the “attention share” of millions of customers every day.

When you publishing new content, you’re putting it up for bid. If people are paying attention to your competitor, they can’t pay attention to you. And, as in all competitions, some win and some lose.

The trick is to win more than you lose.

For many businesses content marketing is one of the largest and most profitable customer acquisition channels. To help stay top of mind and ahead of your competitors, it’s vital to transform your content marketing and raise awareness. Here are some solutions to help your team take the lead in the “attention game” and crush (I mean win the attention away from) your competitors

  1. Make it about the customer--Don’t talk at your customers, have a conversation with them. Winning marketers write stories for customers about customers. You have to understand them. Listen to your customers. Be real and have fun. Identify what they care about. Your content marketing should not be shouting about your brand, products, and services. It should answer problems for your customer. Post content that shows customers how your product or service works and how to use it better. The more you can understand your customer and establish a relationship, the more loyal your customers will become. 
  2. Create intrigue and ignite interest--Consumers are getting better at ignoring much of the content that is put in front of them. You need to find ways to hook people’s interest. Engage with your readers’ heart and mind. Identify ways to differentiate yourself. One way to arouse emotion is through storytelling. Speak to your consumers’ pain points, let them see that you understand them and want to help. Most readers engage with personalized, relevant content that connects with their interests and desires. This may require insights into what consumers are purchasing and their evolving interests.
  3. Tell a good story; tell it fast--People are highly distracted with messaging coming at them from every direction. They are time-pressed and they want information that is easily consumable and can express a point of view quickly. When crafting an article, consider incorporating “snackable” bits of content that can be digested easily. This will make your content more noticeable. Write clear headlines that will give readers the big idea. Provide intriguing infographics that support the concept. Create eye-catching videos with a direct message. However, keep in mind there is a major difference between fluffy content and meaningful content that makes a point.
  4. Establish credibility--This cannot be done overnight. Building credibility takes hard work and diligent execution. People won’t share content unless they know it’s credible, as they know it will reflect on them and impact their own reputation. Readers want content from experts —people they respect and trust. Rather than trying to fake expertise, many businesses hire expert writers if they don’t have the skills in-house. High quality content created by a skilled writer makes a huge difference in how your company is perceived. Once you’ve built credibility, take as much care to protect it, as you did to establish it.
  5. Proofread your work--An ability to write credibly and effectively is one skill, and then there’s ensuring the content flows smoothly and reads impeccably. Pay attention to details. You two options to ensure you’re producing valuable and error-free content: 1. Use tools like Grammarly, a free writing app that according to its website, makes sure everything you words are easy to read, effective, and error free. Or 2. Hire an editorial team. Many clients tell us using a dedicated team of writers and editors saves time (and frustration).
  6. Better promotion--Some content marketers are so focused on creating content that they forget about distribution. Never rely on a single distribution channel. Broaden your reach through multiple platforms and strategies. Utilize new approaches and leverage different media. Where are your readers? How do they want to receive your content and how often? There are various tools and software that can help you monitor the Internet for relevant conversations and analyze the performance of your content platforms.
  7. Attention comes and goes – stick with it--When you have that big hit, replicate it. However, if your strategy fails, don’t give up. The key is to sustain your momentum. As soon as you stop, your engagement will drop. The best way to gain competitive advantage is a commitment to content strategies that continually improve.